Monday, November 17, 2008

Why does anyone *ever* get out of the bath? Why not just stay there forever?

Sing hey! For the bath at close of day
that washes the weary mud away
A loon is he that will not sing
O! Water Hot is a noble thing!
If I could write poetry, I'd write poems about having a bath. And they would be small silly meaningless poems like this one by that Lord of The Rings fellow. And that's the point. Nothing bad ever happens while you're in the bath. Nothing. And that's a science fact.

I think I am a *shower person*. I like the way you're in & then you're out. Done. Off to do something else busy. Because there's always lots to do, even if it's only making a cup of tea and making sure you don't miss the start of your programme. Or else it's the morning and you've no time for dilly-dallying. No shilly-shallying for hours in a bath tub. Who has time to do that?

And then one day, for reasons unexplained here, you have to start bathing instead. But I mean, bathing? It sounds so womanish. Like *pampering* & *essential oils*. I'd rather smell than ever admit I used essential oils in a bath. I would especially never use lavender. Never ...

No, I *have a bath*. A manly bath => a functional thing that ends with the result => that I am nice & clean. I think I can be open & admit to that. Today I bathed. Tired out from walking about on the best Autumn day we'll have.

But then you get in, a bit achy, a bit tired & a bit nothingy. The bathroom full of steam, the water too hot to cope with at first. You get in and the world just stops. Nothing to see out of the frosted window. The distant sound of trains & cars & children hitting each other and screaming. Nothing for you to worry about.

[Barbie Cake Tub by Kathleen Owens]

Bits of your body floating to the surface. Pushing your shoulders down to get some more of that warmth, forcing your knees to fold up and out of the water. Steam rising, drips of water dribbling down the side of the tap.

[bathtub postcard from 1912]

You can read a book provided you don't wear glasses. You can listen to the radio, provided its not the news full of death and horrible arguing.
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum

[Joseph Robertson photo]

Why didn't someone tell me? How is this a *sort* of secret? How did I never realise that I was missing out? I'm not sure there's much better than staying in the bath. I'm not sure what there is to get out for. If I can arrange for someone to bring me in some cake I might stay in there until tomorrow. I hope my laptop's waterproof ...

All images from


  1. *shudder* baths and me don't mix. I have a bad habit with baths. Run them too hot, get in, and stay in until the heat actually makes me want to pass out. then I get out and I have to sit down for a bit.. recover from my stupidness. Not for me. Also, its like making soup out of myself... thats how I feel. Like I am stewing in my own filth... not that I am particularily filthy. OK, I will stop right there.

    GO SHOWERS!!! woo!

  2. Baths should end only when you get too cold and run out of hot water to top up. If you're cold, tired, achey, sad, grumpy, seeking solitude, whatever, there isn't much that beats the moment of sinking into a lovely hot bath and just lying back. I would sleep overnight in the bath if it stayed warm. I didn't know just how necessary they were until I lived without a bath for six months. Showers just don't comfort.

    I can now watch tv in the bath. My tub overfloweth.

  3. sam, it's a lovely/terrible image you paint. lovely, as in, good image, but eurgghh. soup indeed. but then, soup might not be worst thing. but no, i'll stop right there......
    MD - watch out for the electricity! your tub overfloweth - quick someone call the fire brigade.

  4. I showered today. I didn't mind it because I did not have time for a bath.
    I am a bath kind of girl. I love to wash my hair in the bath. I get my head under and let my ears fill up with water until they crackle. I know you shouldn't but I like doing it.

    I always pumice my feet in the bath and cut my toenails in there too. You just can't do these sort of things in a shower.
    I am fastidious about my feet being free of hard skin and my nails being scrubbed clean.

    When I have washed and preened myself, i put more hot water in, loads of smelly stuff, (especially that stuff which fizzes) order a cup of tea from an unwilling minion, and then read a book.

    I am ashamed to say I have destroyed books by falling asleep, and submerging

    There is something so decadent about lolling around in the warm water and being thoroughly alone :)

  5. It is a shame Tolkien did all the LOTR guff, he really did write very nicely.

  6. I'd like to pose a question. Would you rather be able to brush your teeth in an instant or shower just as quickly?

  7. Sarah, I think Sam would say: soup.
    books dropped in, foot skin bits floating round, it sounds more like stew. Not that I want to put you off...

    I think on the toothbrushing vs showering quickly - toothbrushing cos it is boring. But those toothbrushes you get in motorway service stations that you sort of swill around your mouth like little rolled up hedgehogs. they're rubbish. can I have meals in tablet form instead? now that's the future...

  8. I generally shower but if I feel tired or cold or sad then I will wallow in a very hot bath for hours. I just keep topping the water up and hate to come out.

    But baths are winter evening things for me. It's good to have a nice glass of whisky to hand and just relax.

  9. Yes, I love baths, although I am constantly adjusting the temperature with my feet. In my house in Brixton I had such a huge bath that I could sit in the middle with my back against the side. I used to wait until everyone went out, run a bath, sit the wrong way around and sing my heart out with the windows wide open. I could almost swim in it. It was so fun there was no time for reading books or faffing about with lavender.

    That bath is pretty much the only thing I miss about London.